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July 2020

Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 1918 Hrs. by Club Vice President, Bob Boettcher. Bob welcomed all present to the July Club meeting. After the welcome, Club President Jimmy Zocchi led the group in the reciting of the pledge of allegiance.

Introduction of People and visitors: It was announced that Wayne Goodman has joined the Club and paid dues. Wayne has been a Club member in the past. All those present welcomed Wayne officially into the membership.

Club business: There has not been any change in the Club’s checking account.

Upcoming events: Will the Club have the October swap meet and steak fry considering Covid concerns? The consensus of people present was to wait another month and see how things shape up. George Spargen reported that the Southern California Military Vehicle Collectors Club will hold a rally September 30th – October 4th. The rally (swap meet, etc.) will be held at the Bonita Ranch Campground in Lytle, CA. It appears that the event has not been cancelled. Contact George Spargen for more info.

Meeting presentation: Bruce Morgan shared a presentation about his Father who flew P-38 Lightings during World War II. On his Father’s first mission over Europe his wingman’s plane was hit, caught fire and the pilot bailed out. He followed the wingman’s parachute down to the ground. The wingman was found unconscious, was captured, and woke up in a German hospital.

During the battle of the Bulge the forward airstrip his father was flying out of was socked in with fog, grounding the planes. They could hear German armor advancing towards the airfield. His Father’s plane and others were pointed in the direction of the advancing German Army. Sergeants were placed at each tail boom and pushed the tail up, down, or sideways to help aim the plane’s machine guns which were fired at the approaching forces. The Germans went around the airfield giving the crews a sigh of relief. They did not want to take on a Tiger tank this way.

On a mission to bomb a bridge, his father’s plane was armed with a 1000-pound bomb. On the bombing run, the Germans were sending up tremendous flak. The plane was buffeted by the exploding flak which caused the bomb to be released at the wrong angle. The bomb hit the bridge deck which acted like a trampoline and launched it high enough that it could have been his wingman. The bounce sent the bomb into an orchard near the bridge. When it detonated there were large secondary explosions. The bomb ended up hitting a German ammunition dump hidden in the orchard which was possibly used to defend the bridge. The next day they sent him back to destroy the bridge.

Towards the end of the war in Europe, Bruce’s Father transitioned into flying spotter planes. On one mission, he was assigned to fly a Major to the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany to document the atrocities. Years later his Father took the family to Dachau and made the point that he was witness to the Holocaust.

After the war, he flew P-51s and other planes and participated in the Korean War but did not fly combat missions. His military career continued as a test pilot of the B52-G and H models. During the Vietnam War, he flew combat missions. In 1969, his Father died in Vietnam of a sudden heat attack.

A request was made for future meeting topics and presentations.

Fort Douglas Museum report: Everyone present thanked the Fort Douglas Museum for allowing the group to meet outdoors in their Cannon Park. The Museum is officially closed until Salt Lake City goes to “Yellow” during the Covid -19 pandemic.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 2035 Hrs.